But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings as Eagles; they shall run and not be weary; and they shall walk and not faint. Isaiah 40:31

Monday, March 26, 2012


My life seems to be returning to normal.....a new normal.  I don't think about cancer as often any more like I did at first.  Oh, I never forget it....but I can feel I'm moving beyond cancer at last!  It has changed me, however, and that is why I refer to my life now as my "new normal".  In my "new normal" I take the time to take better care of myself and I also live life to the fullest with lots of "firsts"!  Cancer has taught me to "live out loud"!  :=)

Well, look at this!  My sister and I got in the newspaper again....this time it was the local newspaper and our Red Hat sisters were with us!  We are such celebrities...lol!

We all had a great time at the Taste of Home cooking school here in town.  I told Larry to go pick himself something up to eat while I went and leaned how to cook for him.  lol!

Here we all are in a group picture we asked the reporter to take of us.  A few couldn't make it.  One of our sisters opted to go on a cruise with her husband instead of this event....imagine that!   LOL!

Here's a few others the Tribune took that night.

And look what I won!  This was one of the dishes the cook made that night......Taco Casserole....and I won it...yay!  Yes, it was yummy!
I had my supper already made for the next night.  Larry said it was a little spicy for him, but he ate it!  Makes you hungry just looking at it, doesn't it?  :=)

Isn't this a great picture of mother and daughter, Ruth and Linda Morrow.  Ruth joined us, but she's way too young for a Red Hat.  She had a pink cap with her, but didn't have it on when I snapped this picture.
After the cooking show, we went to Applebees for dessert!

Oh, and did I tell you that I, THE QUEEN, visited the PRESIDENT?  LOL

I had to go shopping for some summer clothes sooner than I expected!  Who would have guessed it was going to be 80 degrees in March!!!  All of my summer clothing from last year are size 18/20 and my old capris fall off of me and are so baggy!  So, I went and got me a couple of new pair of capris....size 14...yay!!!  I'm so happy to still be at a size 14.

And here's a side view so you can see how natural my foobs look!  They don't FEEL natural YET!

And look how fast my hair is growing now!  I'm actually thinking I'm going to cut it like it was back in January!
Like this...what do you think?  I'm seriously thinking of getting it cut this short!  I just wanted to grow it out a bit first to see what the curls/waves would look like.  But, I really, really liked it SUPER SHORT!!!!!  It sure did grow fast since January, didn't it?

With the warmer weather I also dug out my sandals and realized I needed to go get a pedicure....my VERY FIRST one! 
Ahhhhhhhh!!!!!!!  Yes, I take my camera EVERYWHERE.....lol!

LOL...yes, I have hairy toes and BIG veins!  Ick!  But look how beautiful my toenails are....lol!
And while I was at it....how about a manicure too!

Yep, I have juicy veins in my hands too.  Must be why they like to put IVs in my hand...lol!

And look at the pretty flower she painted on my thumbnails!  One of these days I'm going to get a funky color like lime green or bright orange!  I had been trying to paint them myself at home, but to honest, I'm not good at it and they chip off immediately!  So, if this lasts me 3-4 weeks, it will be worth it to just let them do the job for me!

I was so happy to meet up with my Thirty One Conference roomies.....Amy and Vicki!  I've talked with both of them on facebook and the phone since then.....but we hadn't seen each other since the conference last July!

Here we were last July! 

And here we are just yesterday!  Wow, what a difference 8 months has made, right?  Of course they look great in both pictures, but I was pretty sickly in the first one.  I had just finished my chemo a couple of weeks before the conference and was two weeks away from my masectomy.  I look at these pictures and realize how sick I really was.  I'm glad I took pictures all through my journey....I can now look back and them and see how far I have come!  Amy and Vicki both met me when I was sick and bald....so they had never really been with me when I wasn't sick!  It was soooo good to meet up with them again and we are making plans to have a play day in my stamp cave!  Can't wait!!!

Speaking of Thirty One....my business is going great after jumping in and turning it around in February.  At the end of this month, I hope (and plan) to be promoted to DIRECTOR...yay!!!  This has been a goal of mine since I signed up to be a consultant!  I am so excited!  And what's really neat is.....Us roomies, Vicki, Amy, and I will all be Directors at the next convention in August!  Vicki has already promoted and Amy and I should promote by the end of the week!  How cool is that?  None of would have realized last year that we'd be going back to the convention as Directors this year!!!  That's a big accomplishment!  With taking almost a year off from my business, I am shocked at how fast it has turned around for me and that I'm actually on track to be a DIRECTOR!  I always said...."in God's timing"!

Well, today I went back to Dr. Chambers....the Orthopedic Surgeon....as a follow-up to the spinal injection I had.  The pain in my buttocks and leg let up for two weeks after the injection, but it returned (mostly in my buttocks...a little in my leg).  It was so awesome to be pain free or that two weeks....and a dissappointment that the pain came back.  But I have heard people have to get these injections repeatedly....even just weeks apart.  So when he asked if I would want to choose to get the injection again, I said yes!  It helped and may help longer the next time, so I told him if it doesn't hurt for me to get it again and might possibly help....then I'm ready to do it again!!  So, he's making the appointment for me and I should be doing that again in a couple of weeks.

Well, that's pretty much my update for this time.  Until next time....enjoy that sunshine out there!!!!

Saturday, March 17, 2012


Well, isn't that a scary looking place!!!!
I went and visited our local Tattoo shop today to talk with them about getting my pink ribbon tattoo.  My oh my, why do they have to make their shops so evil and scary looking...lol!  They might get more business from us grannys if it looked more like a manicure shop!   Grannies flock for those manicures and pedicures by the thousands!  But, I'm afraid it might be the scariness of the tattoo parlors that scare us grannies away!  lol!

But, this granny had made up her mind last summer to enter into that "world unknown" for a tattoo of a pink ribbon when her treatments were finished!  And, enter I did....and I survived!  Now, I am learning more and more not to "judge a book by it's cover" and this is exactly one of those times that the inside wasn't as scary as the outside!  The tattooed gentleman inside was very nice and helpful and I showed him my picture of the tattoo I wanted and he says he can do it....yay!!!  So, on April 7th....my Cancerversary.....I will venture back down to this scary shop and put my arm out and let them do some artwork on my wrist!  I have some family members who said they wanted to get one when I do, so I hope they live up to that and go with me!  April 7th....one year of survival....one year ago I was diagnosed on April 7th...something to celebrate!  It's also my mom and dad's wedding anniversary....I had never put that together before...I was diagnosed on their anniversary.   And I will be celebrating with my very first tattoo!!!  Notice I didn't say my last!  :=)  He even quoted me a price.....I had no idea what to expect!  $65....ok...I can live with that!  :=)  I'll show you all when it's done. I asked him if it would hurt and he said he wasn't going to lie...it would hurt.  But, hey, after chemo and 4 surgeries last year, I think I've got this one!

It is an absolutely beautiful day today...I saw a sign driving around town today that registered 81 degrees.  Wow, what  weird winter!  I thought that groundhog saw his shadow!  He must have been teasing us!

I feel like I've got a new lease on life....not just because I survived breast cancer....but because other medical problems have finally been "fixed".  Even before I was ever diagnosed with breast cancer, I had a lot going on in my body that was hard to pinpoint.  And now that those are fixed, I just feel so much better!  Gallbladder removed, sleep apnea diagnosed and gone, and now the pain in my leg treated!  Plus the loss of weight just makes me feel better too!  I feel like a new woman!  I don't sleep all day any more.....that was a result of the sleep apnea!  And once I get up I feel rested up and energetic and ready to face the world!  And I'm doing it without the pain going down my leg all day long!   I knew when my mom was still alive I "just never felt good", but you don't realize how bad you actually feel until you feel BETTER!  Plus, there was no obvious reason for me to feel so badly!  Now that I look back on it....I had a lot going on with my health....I just didn't know what!  I'm so thankful for the doctors who have worked at figuring it all out and "fixing" it.  I feel like I'm living again!

I hope you enjoyed my pictures from yesterday of our trip to the Maple Syrup festival!  I had more that I purposely didn't show you yesterday because I didn't want to overwhelm you.  So, I'll show a few more of those now!

One of the first things we ran into at the Maple Farm was a "man eating chicken"!!!  Never seen one? Well, see for yourself!!

LOL!  What can I say about this?  It speaks for itself!  :=)

And they had some great pickin' music for our entertainment!

The village potter sat and chatted with Sheila and Martha for a bit!

We walked down a trail and found some Indians cooking raccoon!
Ick....one look at that foot still attached and I wanted nothing to do with it!  Cancer made me braver...but not stupid...lol!
My sister, Sheila, however, evidently didn't have enough for dinner and she ate some!  Ick, ick, ick!  She tried to talk me into it but didn't succeed.  This was quite a role reversal...I'm usually the nuttier sister...lol!  But, I have my limits!  :=)

On that same trail we found some pioneers making candy from the sap.
They had been cooking it over a fire for two days....

Then they removed it from the fire and stirred it until it thickened up (like we do with fudge!)
Once it was thick enough, she poured it into a wooden mold.
And then they gave us samples of it to try!  Yes, I tried it...hey, it was CANDY and there was no foot attached...lol!  It was alright....a little smokey tasting.  But what a great lesson of how the pioneers made candy back in the 18th century!  We take so much for granted, don't we?  I get tired just thinking of how hard those pioneers worked!

We had a great and educational time at the Maple Farm....you should check it out!  I know we all said we were exhausted the next day...lol!

Did you know that the longest covered bridge in America is in Medora, Indiana?  Well, neither did we!  It was just a mile up the road so we had to check it out when we left the festival!

Look at that beauty!  Wow, right here in my own county and I had never seen it!  I need to get out more...lol...hey, I am!
An inside view...isn't that awesome!  No, it's no longer used for traffic and has been restored.
But, foot traffic is welcome and yes, we walked clear across it!

And what's a trip to a covered bridge without locking the van keys in the van?  Yes...it did happen..lol!  Good thing Red Hatters are at that age where they know things will work out....everything is fixable....and we don't get all spastic and upset!

How many red hatters does it take to change a battery in a car remote control?  lol!
We can figure this out!  After all, we've raised teenagers, two of us have survived cancer, we've all had some life experiences that were hard to deal with.....let's not sweat the small stuff.... we can surely deal with a locked van, right?

The look of anticipation...did it work....will it work?
The answer...NO!

So, when all else fails, we just sit and wait for help...lol!  I told them they looked like yard ornaments..hehe!

I hope you enjoyed our little adventure as much as I've enjoyed sharing it with you!  Life is good!  I saw someone with cancer refer to "living out loud" on their blog...and I have adopted that saying....I am LIVING OUT LOUD and loving life again!  When I look at what was happening in my life before I got cancer, I can truly say that God has restored me....not only physically, but mentally and emotionally!  All glory to Him!!!

Until next time....give God the glory for the good things in your life!

Friday, March 16, 2012


Wow, it's been a week since my last update.  Not much happening in my "medical world" to report to you, except that the spinal injection is working...yay!!!!  I never imagined getting rid of that pain.  I do still have it occasionally, but not much at all and it feels sooo good to NOT have my leg hurting all day and all night!  I can even lie on my back now without pain...I couldn't do that before!  I don't know how long it will last...maybe weeks, maybe months, maybe forever!  But, if it begins to hurt again in a few months, I can do it again!  I'm just thrilled to get rid of that pain!

Yay, someone taller than me (Martha)....I'm usually the tallest in a group!
I've just been busy enjoying life!  Our Red Hat group....the Sisterhood of the Travelling Hatters....went on another outing last weekend and we had a blast!  We visited the National Maple Syrup Festival in Medora, Indiana!  This was the 4th year for this festival but none of us had ever been and it's right here in our own county!  We're really enjoying discovering Indiana and finding so many neat things right next door to us!  And we're meeting so many awesome people who are blessing us!
When we first arrived, we were greeted by this man....Michael Dean.....who was such a good sport.  We really enjoyed having fun with him!
He even bowed to the Queen...lol!  What a sport!

Then we loaded on to the school bus and headed to the Maple Farm!  We all decided they are making those bus seats smaller than we remembered them....lol!

Vice Queen Martha and I as we arrived at the Maple Farm!
Sap Buckets...have you ever seen sap collected from the trees?  I always try to think back ....way way back....and wonder who was the FIRST person to see something coming out of a tree and decided they should taste it?  lol...do you ever wonder stuff like that?

Then we were shown how the farm makes the maple syrup...very interesting and educational!  This whole festival was very educational!
Vice Queen Linda showing off the finished syrup...yum!
I couldn't resist...I had to buy me one!

And...any Red Hat event includes food!!!  Look how serious they get when it comes to food...lol!  They had a great dinner right there at the farm.....using maple syrup, of course!

Allene....those baked beans and pork chops were awesome!

I always like to go "behind the scenes" and had to go visit our cooks....if I remember correctly, their names were Kenny and Craig (or Greg).

After eating, we ran into this couple from the wild west!  Look...she even let me hold one of her guns!  That sucker was heavy...it was REAL!  I'll admit it, I had never held a pistol in my life.  I'm experiencing all kinds of new things in my "new life"!  :=)  They invited us to a shoot-out at 3:30 at the cabin!  Oooooh, of course we had to check that out!

This was one mean outlaw!  He came over to us right away and let us know to stay where we were because he wasn't above slapping a woman and we might get shot.  Oh my!  lol!
But, after the gun battle, he posed with me and I think his "bark" was bigger than his "bite"!

The bad guys.....

The good guys.....
A dead bad guy...the good guys won!  :=)
We had never seen a gun battle reenactment and it was fun!  Even the "blanks" were LOUD and sounded so real and made us jump!
And after the gun battle we all visited with them and posed for pictures.  We found out they were from LaGrange, Ky.  We really enjoyed talking with them.  This was our "mean look" portrait...lol!

We even met this 18th century red hatter....one of the originals!

And, Allene, even roped her a man...lol...isn't it great?

We had such a good time at this festival!   It is held every year for two weekends in March and if you are able to visit next year, I highly recommend it!  Everyone was so friendly and it was just a neat and educational festival!  And we just happened to have a beautiful and warm March day! 

I'm really enjoying our Red Hat group.  We are going to a Taste of Home cooking school at our local high school next week....kind of a bonus event for March!  That should be fun too.  It's always fun with my red hat sisters!

Nothing medically going on in March.  I guess that's a good thing....right?  It seems so weird to not have any doctor appointments or anything medically happening!  I think it makes me realize more and more that life is returning to normal.  I am even beginning to get more used to my "new breasts".  Some days they still feel so tight....not normal....but other days I even forget about them.  Yay!  They are still very numb though and that's weird feeling!  But the nerves have been cut...which means no feeling!  I'm still holding my weight down....I've gained a few pounds, but nothing to make much of a difference.  Still wearing the smaller clothes!  I hope I can keep this up!  :=)

Until next time....enjoy life and discover things that may be closeby to you!  I think sometimes we get in a "rut" of doing the same things over and over...I know I did!  Get out and discover something new!
Life is good!  Cindy